Monday, August 08, 2016

8th August 2016 daily global,regional and local rice e-newsletter by riceplus magazine

·        Today Rice News Headlines...
·         Time to rethink India’s rice policy
·         2016 USA Rice Outlook Conference
·         Loan for Silos in Limbo
·         Rachol women taught to use farming machinery
·         Indian Scientists Develop A Healthy Ice Cream – Nutrice Cream
·         Massaman curry of beef cheeks with pumpkin, cashew nuts and snake beans
·         Farmers save rainwater for dry seasons
·         PhilRice highlights green veggies, brown rice in Nutrition Month
·         Beverley Postma joins HarvestPlus as CEO 

News Detail...

Time to rethink India’s rice policy

Prerna Sharma
late, with growing income and awareness about nutritious food, there has been a noticeable decrease in the consumption of rice (a high-carb food) in Indian households. This change in consumption pattern, however, is not reflected in India’s agriculture policy which continues to revolve around rice and wheat. Moreover, current policies related to production, procurement, storage and distribution of rice are creating a number of internal and external problems.
The Centre is promoting rice production through a combination of support prices, assured procurement and subsidies on key inputs like irrigation, chemical fertilisers and electricity — the major proportion of input subsidies is consumed by rice.
Thus, paddy’s MSP has risen from 580 per quintal in 2006-07 to 1,470 per quintal of 2016-17 at a CAGR of 10 per cent. Then, there are State-specific bonuses over and above the MSPs.

Govt’s production and distribution processes are out of sync with consumption patterns
Of Domestically, the over-promotion of rice (and wheat) creates a mismatch between demand and supply. That leads to food inflation fuelled by price surges of specific commodities, such as pulses, oilseeds, fruits and vegetables. The ongoing pulses crisis (40 per cent production shortfall) is one of its ill-effects. Many a time, India struggles with inflation in rice despite surplus production and excess stocks with the government, which calls for a rethink on existing policy. Also, the current policy of promoting a water-intensive crop like paddy is aiding faster depletion of the water table, i.e. 17.7 cubic km/year in Punjab and Haryana.
Stocking and distribution
The FCI is carrying a rice stock of 19.4 million tonnes (MT) as on July 1, 2016, as against the buffer norm of 13.5 MT. Additional procurement to implement the National Food Security Act is further putting pressure on the existing inadequate storage infrastructure. Out of 81 MT of FCI’s grain storage capacity, only 50 MT is covered.
Overstocking inflates the government’s cost and lack of proper storage system leads to deterioration in rice quality. After procurement and stocks withheld by farmers, only one-third of the rice remains free for open market trade. Thus, the market gets nervous about any small cues.
India’s MSP-based procurement always faces global criticism that it distorts the price of the world market by exporting subsidised rice. India is the largest rice exporter, contributing 25 per cent to the global rice trade (42 MT) but, is considered an unreliable supplier due to its flip-flops on the trade policy front. Hardening of rice prices in 2007-08 prompted India to ban export of non-basmati rice (revoked in 2011) that caused international rice prices to soar.
This knee-jerk reaction from India prompted rice-importing countries to respond with policy measures (hikes in support prices and raising tariff/non-tariff barriers to check imports) to augment indigenous rice production. Indonesia and the Philippines fix rice import quota every year. Japan has banned rice imports except milled rice at an import tariff of 778 per cent. China doesn’t import rice from India. The world’s rice market is shallow, with only 8 per cent of the total produce being traded. So, any market-distorting action by major players leads to a dramatic change in prices and constrains India’s export. India exported 10.4 MT of rice worth $5.79 billion in FY2015-16, down 13 per cent (quantity) and 26 per cent (value) in FY2014-15.
The way forward
The shift in food consumption pattern calls for incentivising non-cereal crops. The government has increased MSP and declared bonus in pulses to boost production. But, these market distorting measures are not sustainable in the long term and will add to the subsidy burden.
There is a need to replace price-support measures with income-support ones, such as direct payment to farmers, and let market forces guide what to produce and how much. The government should focus on increasing public spending to improve irrigation and develop high-yielding varieties of seeds to raise productivity. This will increase farmers’ return in a sustainable way. A nutrient-based subsidy regime will promote a balanced use of fertilisers and improve per unit return on subsidies.
The writer is VP and Head, Agriculture, Food and Retail, at Biznomics Consulting

2016 USA Rice Outlook Conference

  • Dates: 07 – 09 Dec, 2016
  • Location: Memphis, TN
  • Address: Sheraton Memphis Downtown


2101 ​Wilson Boulevard,
Suite 610
Arlington, VA 22201
Loan for Silos in Limbo
There seems to be no definite period of when a $300 million loan from the Chinese government, to build large silos to store rice for milling, will be disbursed to the Cambodian government.According to a report last December, Cambodia’s Ministry of Economy and Finance sent a draft memorandum of understanding to the Chinese government seeking a loan of about $300 million to build 10 large silos, which could store a total of 1.2 million tons of paddy rice to ensure both millers and exporters could have a continuous supply of the commodity.
Mey Kalyan, advisor to the Supreme National Economic Council said the process to get the loan from China was going ahead and negotiations were continuous. But Mr. Kalyan agreed that there were certain hurdles in getting the loan.“The issue of the loan collateral is complicated. We can use the paddy rice stored in the silos as collateral, but will that work?” he asked.Mr. Kalyan pointed out that paddy rice is a perishable item and lenders are reluctant to loan money using it as a security.
The Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) has been urging the government to build silos for storing paddy rice in order to boost rice exports. It has also asked for help from the government to provide emergency loans to millers and exporters who are currently in financial doldrums due to cheaper rice flooding the market from neighboring countries. Hun Lak, vice president of CRF, told Khmer Times that the project to build silos was under the Ministry of Commerce and the Chongqing Grain Group was responsible for the project study.

 “Chongqing sent their representatives to do a joint study with us for the loan application from the Chinese government. However, till today, we have yet to hear anything from them,” said Mr. Hun Lak.Mr. Hun Lak said that since this project was on a government-to-government basis, the private sector was by-passed.China plans to increase its rice import quota from Cambodia next year and China will import another 200,000 metric tons of milled rice in 2017 on top of their current rice imports from Cambodia. Cambodia’s rice export in the first six months reached about 268,190 tons, according to a report released by the General Department of Agriculture on Thursday

Rachol women taught to use farming machinery

Around 25 women from Rachol village have been provided training in farming machinery use by the union ministry of agriculture through Southern Region Farm Machinery Training and Testing Institution, Hyderabad in association with zonal agriculture office (ZAO) of department of agriculture, Goa.
Besides women, several men have also been trained on handling the machinery. The training to the women farmers, mostly from tribal community, was provided by a resource person from the Hyderabad institution. The village has been adopted under Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana.
The women were trained on handling small machinery and other equipment like power tillers, pesticide sprayers, maize sheller, besides coconut climbing, branch cutting tasks etc.Further, those interested can also obtain a week-long training at Hyderabad. While the first training session will be free of cost, the second session, which mostly comprises training on equipment functioning and its maintenance, will be a paid one. “I am glad that many women are showing interest in agricultural activities,” said resource person Moly.He said that machinery use will reduce cultivation cost and also help farmers in overcoming labour shortage. He applauded the efforts of the local sarpanch Joseph Vaz in this regard.
ZAO of Salcete, Dattatrai Pandit said that the women were shown how de-weeding is to be done with machine and spraying of manure. He said the government took the initiative after considering the difficulties faced by farmers in getting the labour. He thanked the sarpanch Vaz for organising the programme.

Chandra Desai, deputy project director of Agriculture Technology Management Authorities (ATMA) said that since the villagers are cultivating organic rice (without application of manure) the government should assign a certificate to this rice so as to identify it by certain name and increase its popularity and sale. Sarpanch Vaz thanked the officers and villagers for their cooperation.

Indian Scientists Develop A Healthy Ice Cream – Nutrice Cream

Very recently, someone created organic gastronaut ice cream modeled after the ice cream that astronauts are said to be eating in space. It’s less messy, it tastes the same and it comes in slabs instead of scoops. But what’s more interesting is that Indian scientists have now developed a healthy ice cream!
The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) constituent laboratory, CSIR-Central Food Technological Research Institute (CSIR-CFTRI) Mysuru, in association with Oleome Biosolutions, Bengaluru and Dairy Classic Ice Creams Pvt. Ltd has developed Nutrice.


Made from a vegetarian source, Nutrice Cream is an Omega-3 and Vitamin-E enriched frozen nutritional dessert. Dietary supplementation of Omega-3 have been reported to have beneficial health functions including brain development in children and good health in elderly population.
CSIR-CFTRI have also developed a diverse array of food products like Nutri-chikki which is incorporated with spirulina, rice mix, high protin rusk, energy food, and others to fit nutritional requirements of different people

Massaman curry of beef cheeks with pumpkin, cashew nuts and snake beans

Jason Creaghan
Spice up your life with this home-made curry.
2-130tph Mineral Mill & pulveriser for grinding ore,mineral,stone.Ask!
The Germans are rather good at coming up with single words that mean a lot of things all at once. I'm surprised they haven't invented one that means meltingly tender, rich, warming and delicious.

The Thais have, though. Massaman.

Despite being a Thai dish, the flavours of clove, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom and cumin are distinctly Middle Eastern. The word massaman is the archaic equivalent of Muslim, a reference perhaps to the traders who introduced Southeast Asia to such flavours.

Traditionally this is made with chicken, but I associate it much more with beef cheeks. It is the perfect cut of meat for a dish like this, as the slow cooking time gently coerces the meat into something quite glorious. Instead of beef cheeks, chicken thighs and lamb shoulders are perfectly good alternatives.

Don't be daunted by this list of ingredients. Making your own spice paste will always be infinitely more gratifying than anything out of a jar and, despite the array of ingredients, it is very straightforward to make.

4 cardamom pods
2 tsp coriander seeds
2 star anise
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp roasted cashew nuts
2 tbsp roasted peanuts
4 red chillies, de-seeded
50g fresh ginger, peeled
3 cloves garlic, peeled
¹/ stalk lemongrass, chopped
zest and juice of 1 lime
3 kaffir lime leaves
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce

1kg beef cheeks
3 tbsp flour, for dusting
salt and pepper
vegetable oil
1 onion, sliced
2 x 400ml tins coconut milk
500g pumpkin, peeled and chopped
generous handful of snake beans, washed and trimmed

cup roasted cashews, roughly chopped
1 cup mung beans
handful of coriander, roughly chopped
steamed basmati rice

To make the paste, combine the cardamom, coriander, star anise, cumin, cinnamon, peppercorns and turmeric in a dry pan and toast everything gently, until it is lovely and fragrant. Take off the heat, let it cool and transfer to food processor. Blitz the spices together into a powder. Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor and continue to blend until you end up with a fine paste. This mixture will keep for up to a month in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Cut the beef cheeks into 2-3cm chunks, season with salt and pepper and dust lightly with flour. Get a large lidded casserole or similar going over a high heat, add a little oil, and follow with the beef cheeks and the sliced onion. Fry everything quickly, adding more oil if necessary, until the meat is well browned.
Bring the heat down a bit and add about 3 tbsp of the curry paste. Continue to cook for another minute, then add the coconut milk and pumpkin and stir well. Ensure everything is well covered, put a lid on and place in the oven. Leave to simmer for 2 hours, until the beef cheeks are tender. Taste and season. You may want to add a little more of the spice paste to give it a bit more kick.
About 10 minutes before serving, add the beans and let it cook for another five minutes so the beans are just cooked and still have a bit of crunch.
Serve with the cashews, mung beans and the coriander sprinkled over the top, alongside some steamed rice and perhaps some roti to mop up the sauce.
Sam Mannering is the author of Food Worth Making.
Farmers save rainwater for dry seasons
Farmers in Brgy. Biclat, San Miguel, Bulacan are taking advantage of the rainy season by saving rainwater for their rice farms’ use during dry months. Small farm reservoirs (SFR) help them do so.SFR, according to Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM), is a water impounding structure with a maximum height of embankment of 4 meter and average pond area of 1,500 square meters. Farmers with areas no more than 2 ha of rainfed farms find the tool convenient to use.
“Almost every farm here has SFR since we have limited water resources and irrigation can’t reach us,” said Rodelio B. Viola, chairman of Biclat Farmers Field School Marketing Cooperative.Farmers use SFRs as fishponds to give them extra income during the first cropping season.  They use the water from SFR for rice production in the second cropping season, particularly before or during summer. For farmers who want to start their own SFR, they would have to spend more than P10,000.“We rent digging equipment such as bulldozer or backhoe. In our area, the rent costs P2,000/hour,” said Florentino B. Salvador, a farmer and owner of three SFRs.
“Diggings are made every five years to maintain the depth of the structure as it becomes shallow with soil erosion. If the farmer has resources, he can dig it every year,” he added. Experts at the Rice Engineering and Mechanization Division of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) said that SFR is just one of the water harvesting techniques farmers can use during the rainy season.Other technologies include small water impounding project (SWIP), diversion dam, dug-out pond, open ditch, and rain interceptor ponds and ditches.
According to Engr. Kristine S. Pascual, water harvesting techniques such as SFR, are important as there is a negative effect when rice is submerged in the water for a long time.“Aeration will be an issue, resulting in poor tillering of the rice plant,” she said. 
Pascual also gave tips on managing water in the rice field during the rainy season.“Dikes and irrigation canals must be fixed to make sure that the water flows to the drainage or any impounding structure,” she explained.She added that farmers can avoid the onslaught of typhoons and floods by following a cropping calendar to guide them on the proper timing of planting rice. PhilRice breeders also suggest that farmers can plant flood-tolerant varieties such as NSIC Rc194 (Submarino 1) which has an average yield of 3.5 t/ha and matures in 112 days. 
For more information on water harvesting techniques, farmers may contact the PhilRice Text Center at 0920 911 1398.

PhilRice highlights green veggies, brown rice in Nutrition Month

PhilRice celebrated this year’s Nutrition Month through awareness campaigns on brown rice and rice-based food products. In the cooking contest, Going Greens: A cook-off showdown, ten pairs of culinary enthusiasts showed their prowess in preparing brown rice and local green leafy vegetables, July 26.
Each participating team was tasked to prepare Filipino dishes from a mystery basket filled with leafy vegetables such as pechay, spinach, camote tops, bitter gourd leaves, string bean leaves, chili pepper leaves, and upland water spinach.

To support the Institute's campaign on brown rice awareness, contestants were required to prepare a green leafy dish-brown rice pairing in the main dish category.Students from the Central Luzon State University won three awards. Incoming second year Food Technology students Camilla Patrice Villar and Jamm Joseph Aquino were declared grand winners and received the Best in Appetizer award for their Banana Veggie dish.
“Just cook with your heart, use your imagination, and take risks when necessary. The result will be the best Filipino dishes,” Villar advised to her fellow culinary enthusiasts.  Robert Cauilan and Thea Diamzon from the same university received the Best in Main Dish award for their Squash Surprise. Adrian Banasihan and Kevin Cayanga of La Fortuna College took home the Best Dessert award for their Kangkong Jam.Each dish was assessed based on taste and nutritional value (40%), visual appeal (30%), originality and creativity (20%), and overall presentation (10%).
The cooking contest was led by the Rice Chemistry and Food Science Division (RCFSD) and conducted through the Intensified Rice-Based Agri-Bio Systems (IRBAS) program of PhilRice.Rosaly Manaois, head of RCFSD, said that the activity is part of the IRBAS’s study on the development and marketing of rice-based food products, which she also leads.“Green leafy vegetables grown in rice-based farms are packed with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. However, they are unpopular and intake of Filipinos is low. Hence, preparation of more palatable and low-cost green leafy dishes would help us promote them,” Manois said.The RCFSD team is also planning to prepare a techno-bulletin of the vegetable recipes for distribution to the stakeholders in various Palayamanan sites of PhilRice.
To cap off the month-long celebration, the RCFSD organized an outreach and feeding program, July 28. Around 270 students of Mangandingay Elementary School in Muñoz, Nueva Ecija participated in the said event.The RCFSD staff served brown rice arroz caldo to the students and donated Be Riceponsible campaign materials, and some vegetable seeds and fruit seedlings that students can cultivate at home.
“We aim to create greater awareness among the students on the importance of nutrition, encourage them to be riceponsible, and help the school establish a fruit and vegetable garden,” said Henry Mamucod, outreach and feeding activity coordinator.The said activity was sponsored by the PhilRice Health and Wellness Program, Gender Awareness Development Initiative Program, Be Riceponsible campaign, and PhilRice Employees’ Multipurpose Cooperative (PEMCO).

Beverley Postma joins HarvestPlus as CEO

Beverley Postma
HarvestPlus has announced the appointment of Beverley Postma as its new CEO.
She succeeds Dr. Howarth Bouis, the founder of HarvestPlus and a 2016 World Food Prize laureate, the company said in a press release issued yesterday.
HarvestPlus, a joint venture created by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in 2003, improves nutrition and public health by developing and promoting biofortified food crops that are rich in vitamins and minerals.
HarvestPlus helped Bangladeshi breeders develop world's first biofortified zinc-enriched rice in 2013.
Since then under the support of HarvestPlus, five zinc biofortified rice varieties have been nationally released in Bangladesh with high yield and beneficial agronomic traits desired by farmers.
Out of which, four inbred varieties were released by Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) and one hybrid variety by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University (BSMRAU).Beverley Postma has 25 years of experience as a policy expert in international food systems, nutrition and food security.
She comes to HarvestPlus after six years as founder and executive director of Singapore-based Food Industry Asia (FIA), a non-profit regional platform tackling food security, nutrition and regulatory harmonisation.
On her joining HarvestPlus, Postma said: “I am honoured to join the team at HarvestPlus as it scales up its work to achieve the essential goal of reaching 1 billion people with biofortified food by 2030.”Originally from the UK, Postma is an avid underwater photographer, who holds a PhD and BSc (Hons) in marine biology from the University of Liverpool.
“We are extremely fortunate to have recruited Beverley Postma as the new CEO of HarvestPlus,” said Dr Shenggen Fan, director general of IFPRI.Dr. Ruben Echeverría, director general of CIAT, said: “Beverley's international experience and her familiarity with food issues, innovation and multi-stakeholder partnerships are important assets for HarvestPlus and the global biofortification movement.”
Approximately 20 million people in low-income farming households in 30 countries around the world are now growing and eating these nutritious staple foods, including cassava, maize and sweet potato enriched with vitamin A; beans and pearl millet enriched with iron; and rice and wheat enriched with zinc.
Testing of biofortified varieties is underway in an additional 25 countries.